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Old 04-13-2005, 10:19 PM   #1
Speedy
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Default Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

This has more than likely been covered somewhere before but I'm looking for a little advice...

Wife was on her way home today and suddenly the "Service" light came on in the dash of her 2000 LS2 V6, it's the one with the little wrench. The engine seemed to start bogging down at the same time and any shifting gave her some serious vibrations to the whole car. We live nearly an hour from the nearest dealer but when she called them in a panic and they said bring it in, she was about to hop on the interstate to get there before their service department closed. I had her meet me at the house before she went and gave the car a once over. Everything seemed fine expect for the problems I described. However when I had her shut the car off (she hadn't turned it off since the problem started) and restart it, all the problems went away.

So after making our way to the dealer, they said it was a transmission pressure solenoid problem. They seemed very unconcerned and wanted to send us on our way to come back in a week or so. I refused to even leave with the car for fear of it breaking down before we could return for the service; possibly leaving my wife stranded somewhere. They kept saying it was just an emissions problem and the car would be fine until they got around to it.

Needless to say, they didn't want to, but finally saw it my way. Work is supposed to begin in the morning to fix the problem. As luck would have it, we made it there too late to get the rental our extended warranty provides for. Left to our own devices to make it home, they've really irked the hell out of me.

Anyone run across this problem before? Is it truly a transmission problem, a sensor problem, or an emissions problem? Guess I should have asked for specific computer codes but they seemed more determined to simply send us on our way than actually help solve the problem and it slipped my mind.

Any advice anyone can provide would be a big help.

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Old 04-13-2005, 11:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

It's possible they had to get the part from Spring Hill. Those tranny solenoids are not a common stocking item.
If you don't mind my asking, how many miles are on your 00? I've always been scared of the 00 v6's. Hopefully, she doesn't give you too many problems.

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Old 04-14-2005, 06:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy
This has more than likely been covered somewhere before but I'm looking for a little advice...

Wife was on her way home today and suddenly the "Service" light came on in the dash of her 2000 LS2 V6, it's the one with the little wrench. The engine seemed to start bogging down at the same time and any shifting gave her some serious vibrations to the whole car. We live nearly an hour from the nearest dealer but when she called them in a panic and they said bring it in, she was about to hop on the interstate to get there before their service department closed. I had her meet me at the house before she went and gave the car a once over. Everything seemed fine expect for the problems I described. However when I had her shut the car off (she hadn't turned it off since the problem started) and restart it, all the problems went away.

So after making our way to the dealer, they said it was a transmission pressure solenoid problem. They seemed very unconcerned and wanted to send us on our way to come back in a week or so. I refused to even leave with the car for fear of it breaking down before we could return for the service; possibly leaving my wife stranded somewhere. They kept saying it was just an emissions problem and the car would be fine until they got around to it.

Needless to say, they didn't want to, but finally saw it my way. Work is supposed to begin in the morning to fix the problem. As luck would have it, we made it there too late to get the rental our extended warranty provides for. Left to our own devices to make it home, they've really irked the hell out of me.

Anyone run across this problem before? Is it truly a transmission problem, a sensor problem, or an emissions problem? Guess I should have asked for specific computer codes but they seemed more determined to simply send us on our way than actually help solve the problem and it slipped my mind.

Any advice anyone can provide would be a big help.

It your transmissions pressure soloniod that needs to be changed. It's about over 8 hours for labor and the parts will cos about 120. It's common in your year...you might expect it to happen twice actually. It happened to me twice. How many miles are on your car? The labor is soo much because u have to drop the front end to get to the part. The way the pressure soloniod works is that the transmission ain't like they use to..they're better...they use to work under hydralaics now they work by using pressure. The soloniod controls how much pressure is released when shifting and if the soloniod malfunctions ur tranny is gettin too much pressure and causing the hard shift which then sets off the Wrench light and not the SES light. Anything else?

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Old 04-14-2005, 03:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

I have about 73,500 miles on the car. Having our first major problem at that milage is to be expected I guess. Never had too many problems with this car other than the taillight assembly constantly failing, which i understand is a common problem with this model. What worries me most is the dealership's attitude towards it not being a "real" problem. I'm just at the end of my warranty and I'm worried that with their cavalier attitude towards the repairs, that this may be only an indication of future problems. I was really hoping to hang on to this car for a few more years but now I'm starting to worry that mechanically it won't make it.

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Old 04-14-2005, 03:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

SES light is the one associated with emissions. Anything that causes the engine emissions to go outside of spec will cause the OBD system to trigger the SES light. The Wrench is manufacture specific, and can mean different things with different makes. I doubt a transmission problem would trigger an SES light. It could trigger the wrench though.

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Old 04-14-2005, 05:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

Yup the transmissions buidling up too much pressure before shifting is what causes the wrench to come on because of the kick. too bad there arn't any codes stored for the wrench light

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Old 04-15-2005, 10:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

So basically you are mad cause they told you that you could keep driving the car? It's possible that the problem just causes poor performance but won't lead to a breakdown.

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Old 04-15-2005, 10:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

I would make them put it in writing that it was ok to drive and then if anything were to happen while you were waiting to take it in then you could make them fix it. seeing that it was written like a contract breaking it could lead to a law suit and thats the last thing they want. If it wasnt that important then they would do it but if it was seriously a problem that they didnt want to mess with then they would not take any chances and just take it right then.

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Old 04-17-2005, 03:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

Just wanted to update everyone...

Got the car fixed. Took them all day to do it because they had to drop the front end. It was the transmission pressure solenoid. Just to be clear... it was not the "service engine soon" light that came on, it was the "service" light with the wrench pictured. The SES light indicates emissions problems; the wrench light indicates non-emissions problems from what I was told.

When I asked the service guys if I would damage the car by driving it further before getting the repair, I got a few blanks stares, a maybe, and one guy said, "Well, if it does break down you could always have it towed back in."

Really!!?? Sorry, I wasn't bright enough to figure that out! The shifting problem was so violent in its nature and the cars performance had reduced so dramatically that I felt it was unsafe to drive on the interstate to even get it home. And since I had already made it there with the car, why not get it fixed instead of waiting to get stranded on the side of the road? Although they had all the parts needed for the repair in stock, my breakdown did not come at a convenient time for their service department.

After much questioning, then a few arguments, they decided that I did indeed need it fixed right away. After the repairs were done I took the car out on the road and put it through its paces. Happy to report that although they were reluctant to fix it, once they decided to do the work, they seem to have solved the problem.

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Old 04-17-2005, 12:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy
Just wanted to update everyone...

Got the car fixed. Took them all day to do it because they had to drop the front end. It was the transmission pressure solenoid. Just to be clear... it was not the "service engine soon" light that came on, it was the "service" light with the wrench pictured. The SES light indicates emissions problems; the wrench light indicates non-emissions problems from what I was told.

When I asked the service guys if I would damage the car by driving it further before getting the repair, I got a few blanks stares, a maybe, and one guy said, "Well, if it does break down you could always have it towed back in."

Really!!?? Sorry, I wasn't bright enough to figure that out! The shifting problem was so violent in its nature and the cars performance had reduced so dramatically that I felt it was unsafe to drive on the interstate to even get it home. And since I had already made it there with the car, why not get it fixed instead of waiting to get stranded on the side of the road? Although they had all the parts needed for the repair in stock, my breakdown did not come at a convenient time for their service department.

After much questioning, then a few arguments, they decided that I did indeed need it fixed right away. After the repairs were done I took the car out on the road and put it through its paces. Happy to report that although they were reluctant to fix it, once they decided to do the work, they seem to have solved the problem.

well when i had that problem twice actually you just shut off ur car completely and take out the keys and wait a while then start it back up and it's as good as new until the problems happens ago later down the road

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Old 04-18-2005, 02:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy
Just wanted to update everyone...

Got the car fixed. Took them all day to do it because they had to drop the front end. It was the transmission pressure solenoid. Just to be clear... it was not the "service engine soon" light that came on, it was the "service" light with the wrench pictured. The SES light indicates emissions problems; the wrench light indicates non-emissions problems from what I was told.

When I asked the service guys if I would damage the car by driving it further before getting the repair, I got a few blanks stares, a maybe, and one guy said, "Well, if it does break down you could always have it towed back in."

Really!!?? Sorry, I wasn't bright enough to figure that out! The shifting problem was so violent in its nature and the cars performance had reduced so dramatically that I felt it was unsafe to drive on the interstate to even get it home. And since I had already made it there with the car, why not get it fixed instead of waiting to get stranded on the side of the road? Although they had all the parts needed for the repair in stock, my breakdown did not come at a convenient time for their service department.

After much questioning, then a few arguments, they decided that I did indeed need it fixed right away. After the repairs were done I took the car out on the road and put it through its paces. Happy to report that although they were reluctant to fix it, once they decided to do the work, they seem to have solved the problem.

Sorry you got the ***** end of the stick from the service department. Seems most Saturn dealers are that way.
Some things to think about (if it happens again):
#1 The trans "sensor" is getting a signal that something is wrong so it throws the trans into "limp mode". This will raise the trans oil pressure to 100% allowing no slippage between shifts. If it happens again DO NOT TRY TO DRIVE NICE. If you drive it hard (give it more throttle) the hard shifting is less noticable. Lots of guys pay for a "chip" to make other computer controlled transmissions shift hard like this (mustangs for one), it's not bad for the trans, it actually causes LESS wear and tear. If it's summer time don't worry, but in bad weather the hard shift could easily cause loss of control.
#2 The problem I have been experiencing is similar but not exact. Mine started with the SES light, then sometimes the wrench light would come on too. Sometimes the wrench light would come on with no SES... it was random. I recently pulled out then cleaned the MASS AIR FLOW (MAF) sensor (then reset the computer) and all the lights went away. I was able to get the wrench light to come back on (once) by driving it like jerk. It was that way for about a week. Saturday I replaced the MAF and (with out resetting the computer) and it's driving good and amazingly getting much better gas mileage.

P.S.
THANK YOU BEENSMOKED!!! I think (cross your fingers) all my problems are gone.

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Old 04-18-2005, 04:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

Quote:
Originally Posted by beensmoked
well when i had that problem twice actually you just shut off ur car completely and take out the keys and wait a while then start it back up and it's as good as new until the problems happens ago later down the road
You are absolutely correct. My wife was afraid of turning off the car because it was running so rough she thought it wouldn't start up again. After giving it the once over, I turned it off, waited a minute and started it again. POOF! Problem gone! But as you said, it returned a little while later. Not knowing the exact cause and wanting to have a car that worked everytime, i felt the need to have fixed right away rather than wait to have what the dealer considered a "real" problem (i.e. car broken down, have it towed in).

Quote:
Originally Posted by slo5oh
Sorry you got the ***** end of the stick from the service department. Seems most Saturn dealers are that way.
Some things to think about (if it happens again):
#1 The trans "sensor" is getting a signal that something is wrong so it throws the trans into "limp mode". This will raise the trans oil pressure to 100% allowing no slippage between shifts. If it happens again DO NOT TRY TO DRIVE NICE. If you drive it hard (give it more throttle) the hard shifting is less noticable. Lots of guys pay for a "chip" to make other computer controlled transmissions shift hard like this (mustangs for one), it's not bad for the trans, it actually causes LESS wear and tear. If it's summer time don't worry, but in bad weather the hard shift could easily cause loss of control.
So what you are saying is that this problem would not actually cause any damage to the car? The shifting felt so rough that I really thought the longer I drove it the worse the potential damage would be.

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Old 04-18-2005, 05:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

Quote:
Originally Posted by slo5oh
Sorry you got the ***** end of the stick from the service department. Seems most Saturn dealers are that way.
Some things to think about (if it happens again):
#1 The trans "sensor" is getting a signal that something is wrong so it throws the trans into "limp mode". This will raise the trans oil pressure to 100% allowing no slippage between shifts. If it happens again DO NOT TRY TO DRIVE NICE. If you drive it hard (give it more throttle) the hard shifting is less noticable. Lots of guys pay for a "chip" to make other computer controlled transmissions shift hard like this (mustangs for one), it's not bad for the trans, it actually causes LESS wear and tear. If it's summer time don't worry, but in bad weather the hard shift could easily cause loss of control.
#2 The problem I have been experiencing is similar but not exact. Mine started with the SES light, then sometimes the wrench light would come on too. Sometimes the wrench light would come on with no SES... it was random. I recently pulled out then cleaned the MASS AIR FLOW (MAF) sensor (then reset the computer) and all the lights went away. I was able to get the wrench light to come back on (once) by driving it like jerk. It was that way for about a week. Saturday I replaced the MAF and (with out resetting the computer) and it's driving good and amazingly getting much better gas mileage.

P.S.
THANK YOU BEENSMOKED!!! I think (cross your fingers) all my problems are gone.
actually it is dangerous for your car....ppl who do that to there mustangs and other drag racing cars do it for accleration but puts a lot of wear and tear on there tranny and needs to be replaced often. If you keep drinvi with the erratic kicking you will hurt ur tranmissions greatly.

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Old 04-18-2005, 06:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

Quote:
Originally Posted by beensmoked
actually it is dangerous for your car....ppl who do that to there mustangs and other drag racing cars do it for accleration but puts a lot of wear and tear on there tranny and needs to be replaced often. If you keep drinvi with the erratic kicking you will hurt ur tranmissions greatly.

I've been told by many people that this is a myth. From "http://www.txchange.com/transgo.htm": "The automatic transmissions coming off the assembly lines in Detroit and Japan are truly masterpieces of engineering. But engineers have been asked to program the shifting for smoothness and comfort. Also, consumer attitude surveys show that drivers believe a soft, smooth shift is easier on the transmission. Actually, just the reverse is true."

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Old 04-18-2005, 08:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

Quote:
Originally Posted by slo5oh
I've been told by many people that this is a myth. From "http://www.txchange.com/transgo.htm": "The automatic transmissions coming off the assembly lines in Detroit and Japan are truly masterpieces of engineering. But engineers have been asked to program the shifting for smoothness and comfort. Also, consumer attitude surveys show that drivers believe a soft, smooth shift is easier on the transmission. Actually, just the reverse is true."

i understand that part...but that device and they're theory is true in that fact that they can control the amount of pressure used when shifting. It's not that way with our cars...our cars present a problem when it does this. Because something is malfunctioning and it could lead to a failure in the long run if it keeps using too much pressure...or excessive pressure.

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Old 04-19-2005, 03:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: Service light (wrench) and poor dealer service

Even brake light outages can trigger a wrench light and kill usage of cruise control. While it sounds like your problem is something else, i figured id post this about the stupid service light.

Since the harness L300 tail light assemblies suck (I found a fix for it, but it required plyers or soldering gun), its not too uncommon.

It takes 3 activations of the brake lights to clear a wrench once the light is "fixed". A quick test is to tap the brakes several times.

A brake light outage can be spotted by looking at the two rear lights. If one if dimmer than the other, its likely out.

The problem in is usually the adapter the bulb plugs into. While it can usually be wiggled back to make a connection again, its typically a metal tab that bends out of spec and no longer makes contact. Its the tap pointing upwards when the bulb is fully installed and locked into position. By bending this tab upwards, it makes a good snug fit. You also can solder the damn thing to the metal bracket.

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